STOWA Flieger Klassik Sport
It is my extreme pleasure once again to talk about STOWA Watches. The topic of this review is another relatively new watch model, the Flieger Klassik Sport . I was first introduced to STOWA sometime in 2008-09, due to the really cool design of the Seatime model. As I have mentioned before, the company is located in Germany and consists of a very small staffing compliment of around 20. Having such a small staffing compliment allows the company to provide a serious personal touch interacting with consumers, regardless if the consumer is located in Germany or thousands of miles away. You can read more about the STOWA brand in general HERE. The Flieger Klassik Sport comes with the following basic specifications:
- Diameter: 43 mm
- Case: Stainless Steel
- Bandwidth: 24/20 mm
- Movement: Automatic (ETA)
- Waterproof: up to 20 atm
- Weight: ca. 115 gr. With rubber strap
- Retail: 1270 euro, without VAT 1067 – $1146 USD
Before I get into the specifications and my thoughts about the Flieger Klassik Sport, I would like to mention the TESTAF standard. TESTAF means “Technical Standard Pilot Watches”. For years dive watches have had ISO certification standards that could be obtained but nothing existed for pilot watches. FH Aachen, in cooperation with Sinn Watches, established a standard for pilot watches. The TESTAF standard consists of four (4) primary components: readability, operability, ambient pressure and shock resistance. If you wish to read more about the standard components of the certification then click on the following link: https://www.stowa.de/lshop,showdetail,144691269727570,de,1446913181-30860,sportuhren,fliegerto1testaf,7,Tshowrub–sportuhren,.htm. While the Flieger Klassik Sport does not hold the TESTAF certification that the STOWA TESTAF Fliegers hold, I have confirmed with STOWA that the Flieger Klassik Sport is built to the same quality specifications less going through the actual certification process. Upon examination of the TESTAF model, it is obvious and also confirmed that the same case and other components are utilized in the build of the Klassik model. Besides the certification, outside of the dial aesthetics and crown the models are virtually the same. So why choose one over the other? I guess if a consumer has to have the certification then that is the answer to the question. However, if a classic pilot watch appearance is of utmost importance then the Flieger Klassik Sport will fit the bill perfectly. Personally, while I like the contemporary appearance of the TESTAF Flieger, I prefer the classic appearance of the Klassik Sport. Anyhow, I had a strong conviction that discussing the TESTAF standard was extremely relevant to this review, but let’s move on to the Klassik Sport details at this time.
The Flieger Klassik Sport case has an extremely refined brushed finish that is flawless at least to the naked eye. The case is composed of stainless steel and measures a 43mm in diameter and almost 48mm including the crown. The lug tip to lug tip measurement is perfectly proportionate at 51mm conforming to the wrist quite nicely. The watch measurements are truly perfect for a wide range of wrist sizes both large and small. At just over 12mm tall and with a weight of a mere 115 grams on the strap, comfort shouldn’t be an issue at all for anyone. The simple looking screw down crown measures 7mm in diameter and has the STOWA logo etched into the crown face. The crown on this particular example is quite firm with no play whatsoever when engaged. The crown action is as buttery smooth as any crown I have ever seen. Overall, the case provides a classic pilot watch appearance with a twist. If you look closely at the original flieger models produced by STOWA or even other companies one of the big difference that should stand out rather quickly are the lugs. The Klassik Sport lugs have a much more sleek almost “fang” type appearance as compared to the older pilot watch lug design. So while the model has a classic overall appearance the lugs provide a slight bit of contemporary flair.
The Klassik Sport is fitted with a large slightly domed sapphire crystal measuring 34mm in diameter which provides are great view of the classic pilot watch dial. The crystal has an outstanding anti-reflective coating, which keeps glare at a minimum, which should be apparent in the photographs. The classic dial consists of extremely legible markers and numerals painted on the dial and slathered with C3 Superluminova. One of the most important features of any pilot watch is readability/legibility, and legibility is a key component to being able to achieve a TESTAF certification. Again, while the Klassik Sport is TESTAF certified, it would pass certification in this area. In the past, I erred when alluding to lume not being important on pilot watches. Being able to achieve the new pilot watch certification means being legible day and night so lume is extremely important. The blued hour and minute hands are absolutely gorgeous, well lumed and a perfect compliment to the legibility provided by the rest of the dial. Overall, the dial is extremely clean and uncluttered aiding in outstanding legibility, which is paramount to any quality pilot watch. Personally, I prefer the classic appearance of this model over the TESTAF models.
Next, the case back is screwed down to the upper part of the case. The case back has general specification information etched around the perimeter about the watch model, which is typical of many case backs. At the center of the case back is a large 25mm sapphire crystal allowing for a great view of the top grade ETA 2824 automatic movement. The top grade movement has the beautiful perlaging as expected on top grade ETA movements. I really love the custom STOWA rotor installed on the movement. The rotor has movement specifications and serial number etched on it, which is something I cannot recall seeing outside of STOWA. With a top grade movement, the expectation of accuracy is a given and this particular movement has been extremely accurate at around +3 seconds a day since arrival. Even though the Klassik Sport has a display case back water resistance is not an issue. Combined with a quality crown system, the Klassik Sport has a 200-meter water resistance rating which is excellent for any pilot watch. Again according to STOWA, the Klassik Sport is built to the same standards of their TESTAF Fliegers so I am assuming this model should also be able to stand up to changes in ambient pressure as well.
Finishing off the Flieger Klassik Sport is an excellent vanilla scented rubber strap that measures 24mm at the lug and tapers to 20mm at the clasp. Some might ask, why a rubber strap on a pilot watch? My questions would be, well how many pilot watches can you take snorkeling? Now don’t get me wrong, I plan on swapping out the strap regularly based on the circumstances as I have some very nice custom leather straps that will look outstanding on this model. As far as the rubber strap in concerned, it is quite lengthy out of the box and must be cut to size. Besides the taper, having to cut to size is probably my one gripe about the STOWA rubber strap. I wish STOWA and other companies would follow the example of Oris and develop a rubber strap that doesn’t require cutting to size. Regardless, the strap as is will be perfect for any sporting activity outside of timed dives. The strap is finished off with a standard bushed push button dive clasp. The clasp has the STOWA name and logo etched on the flip lock rather than the clasp portion, which is a bit different.
The Flieger Klassik Sport is an outstanding pilot watch offered by STOWA. The model is highly legible, which is a necessity for a great pilot watch, and is also packed with tons of other quality specifications. The Klassik Sport has a more contemporary case design, thick domed sapphire crystal, water resistance/pressure resistance, and a top grade slightly modified ETA 2824 automatic movement. Even though the Klassik Sport is not TESTAF certified, it is built to the same specifications while providing the more classic pilot watch appearance, which I know I prefer. I would like to thank STOWA for arranging this review with WatchReport.com and I would like to thank each of you for reading. Please take a moment and view the brief video presentation included with the review and subscribe to the WatchReport.com YouTube channel. I look forward to your thoughts and comments as always.